Early this morning I was reminded through the Word of God on how important it is to rejoice and be thankful even in the midst of pain and sorrow. Praise elevates us above our circumstances. The LORD is holy, “enthroned in the praises” of his people (see Psalm 22:3, NKJV).
Let me share some of the Scriptures I feasted on at day-break. It’s very easy to dwell on the negative, but to be happy in Jesus we have to adopt the attitude described by the prophet Habakkuk:
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior
In Isaiah 61:1-3, we read that Jesus came to preach good news to the poor, which I don’t think has anything to do with what we consider “poor” (lack of finances). Anybody that doesn’t have a close relationship with God is poor. For them is the Good News!
Jesus also came to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, to comfort all who mourn, to bestow…
- a crown of beauty instead of ashes
- the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and
- a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
We are admonished by the Apostle Paul to be glad, to rejoice.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, WITH THANKSGIVING,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7).
- Be joyful always
- Pray continually
- Give thanks in all circumstances
This is God’s will in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
I hope our hearts have rejoiced this past Christmas-time in remembering the reason we celebrate the Season. Here are two more encouraging words:
“Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,
always giving thanks to God the Father for everything,
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:19-20).
“Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
If you’re like me, you send up many prayers to Heaven. Now, let’s fill the courts of Heaven with praise and thanksgiving.
Maybe you have some problems to deal with. Don’t we all? Like me, you might wish your body was young and healthy, and that you could move around as you used to, but the years take its toll.
According to my grandchildren I am an OLD lady. In my heart I feel young and vibrant. My body doesn’t cooperate with what my heart feels. This is where praise and thanksgiving plays a major role. We can grow stronger and healthier in our spirit and soul daily by praise and thanksgiving. Our body is just a shell, and even if it would be nice to have a “shell” that worked perfectly until we are called Home, sometimes it doesn’t.
I’m hoping to continue into the new year with a mindset of praise. I have an idea. How about finding at least one new thing every day to be thankful for? To keep track of it, just write it on a calendar. A Calendar of Praise!
When thanksgiving fills our heart the presence of the Lord is near. Walk happily through every day with the joy of the Lord as a guiding star.
Make every new day one of Thanksgiving! Fill a calendar with reasons to praise God.